• Nursing
  • Advanced Practice Nursing
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, MFT
Peer Reviewer(s): Sarah E. Bledsoe, PhD, M.Phil, MSW
Item#: N1214
Contents: 1 Course Book (52 pages)

Perinatal Mood Disorders: An Overview

Price $19.95
Item # N1214
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Note: This course must be completed by 12/31/16. Contact hours will not be awarded beyond this date.

Childbirth is a life cycle event of dramatic proportions, and as many as 80% of women who give birth will experience some change in their mental health in relation to the birth of a child. This course examines a range of perinatal mood disorders (where the term perinatal refers to both the prenatal and postnatal periods). Nurses will learn about perinatal mood disorders in terms of theoretical perspectives, stigmas about mental illness, and emotional reactions to pregnancy and birth. The course describes how symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, agitation, and anxiety threaten a new mother’s physical and emotional stamina, disrupting the attachment relationship with her infant. Risk factors are discussed, including history of abuse or trauma, chemical dependency, ambivalent or negative feelings about the maternal role, a poor marital relationship, and the absence of social support.

The course describes manifestations of perinatal mood disorders, such as “the baby blues,” postpartum psychosis, postpartum depression, maternal suicide, and infanticide. The course addresses the impact of perinatal depression on the family system, such as effects on marital satisfaction, and describes the increasing number of studies indicating that men also experience depression after the birth of a child. Treatment approaches such as psychotherapeutic techniques and pharmacology are discussed, as are the repercussions of untreated maternal depression for the psychological, cognitive, and social–emotional development of the infant. 

Course Objectives
  • Describe cultural myths surrounding motherhood and their impact on a woman's mental health postpartum.
  • Identify the symptoms and manifestations of perinatal mood disorders.
  • Describe the risk factors and diagnostic tools used to assess for perinatal mood disorders.
  • Discuss the different therapeutic models and protocols used in treating perinatal mood disorders.
Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, MFT, an internationally recognized expert in the field of perinatal mood disorders is a psychotherapist who has been writing and speaking on family issues and women's mental health for more than 20 years. She is the author of The Journey to Parenthood: Myths Reality and What Really Matters and Transition to Parenthood: A training manual for clinicians and childbirth educators. In addition to private practice she teaches Family Studies and Child Development at Los Angeles Valley College and Los Angeles Pierce College. The past president of Postpartum Support International Dr. Barnes is the 2007 recipient of PSI's Jane Honikman Award for her outstanding contributions to the fields of maternal mental health and childbearing. Dr. Barnes is a Fellow of the American Psychotherapy Association and a clinical member of both the California Association and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.
Sarah E. Bledsoe, PhD, M.Phil, MSW, is assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work where she teaches Human Development in Context and Adult Health and Mental Health. Her training includes a doctorate and master of philosophy in social work from Columbia University, a master of social work from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor of arts in psychology from the University of Tennessee. Her professional interests include perinatal mood disorders, clinical services and engagement strategies for low-income and minority populations, stress and mental health outcomes, interpersonal psychotherapy, and culturally relevant services evidence-based practice, empirically supported interventions, mental-health services research, clinical intervention research, and knowledge dissemination and implementation. Currently Dr. Bledsoe’s research is focused on culturally relevant and developmentally appropriate intervention for maternal depression and adolescent perinatal depression, repeat pregnancy prevention, and university-agency partnerships for evidence-based practice.
  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.